What just happened? The Epic Games vs. Apple trial keeps revealing industry secrets. After we found out how much Fortnite's iOS version made for Epic during its 30-month run on the store—$700 million—we now know how much Apple generated in commission: at least $100 million.
The 30% cut Apple takes from developers is the crux of the ongoing trial. During the case's third week, Michael Schmid, Apple's head of game business development for the App Store, disclosed how much Fortnite made the company. He refused to give an exact figure and declined to say if it was above $200 million, saying it would be "inappropriate" to share that information.
The actual amount of revenue Apple generated is likely to be much higher. A 2018 report by marketing firm Sensor Tower stated that Fortnite brought in over $100 million in purchases on the App Store in just 90 days, and it surpassed $500 million in iOS revenue in record time. Users eventually spent almost $1.2 billion on the battle royale title's App Store version, making about $354 million for Apple.
Schmid said that in the 11 months before being kicked from the App Store, Apple had highlighted Fortnite and spent $1 million marketing the game. Epic lawyer Lauren Moskowitz suggested the marketing-to-revenue ratio was a "good deal."
Sensor Tower estimates that Apple made $22 billion from its App Store commissions in 2020. The entire company generated $275 billion in revenue during the 2020 fiscal year, so $100 million - $300 million represents a small percentage of its income.
Reuters writes that the disclosure is relevant as Apple executives previously said they do not track profits from the App Store and view it as an iPhone feature. Schmid added that the App Store team only began tracking commissions from Fortnite after it had been featured by the store's editorial team.